Rating: 2.5/5.0

True Panther Sounds

If a single word defines Delorean’s music, it’s “summer.” And if you need a second one, “dance” will do nicely. But that’s a recent development from the Spanish four piece, who languished through two albums of obscurity as hardcore rockers (and electro-punks, depending who you ask) and have only recently emerged on the international scene as instigators of bright, shiny Balearic dance parties. Following up on last year’s magnificent Ayrton Senna EP and the sudden exposure it gave them, the band’s third full length Subiza is both a natural continuation of its sound and a slight letdown to its spontaneity.

While Ayrton Senna was an explosion of in studio joy and synthesizers, somehow spontaneous while still meticulously composed, Subiza is clearly the creation of layering and overdubbing. There’s nothing inherently wrong with that, and it’s clearly the next inevitable step for a band so devoted to shimmering melodies that make you want to rock your tanned ass off, but some of the natural enthusiasm and energy of the music is gone. You wouldn’t know it by listening to a single track, but as a full length album, the same elements that made an EP a triumph begin to wear a little thin. It’s the difference between a fun filled evening with friends and an exhausting night that stretches until the wee hours.

But the songs themselves are uniformly fun and infectious. From the chant of “Would you like to start/ Start a riot” in “Infinite Desert” to the sweeping synths and hoots of “Stay Close,” Delorean is trying to start a party. Each song generally consists of quick keyboard riffs and understated beats, with singer/bassist Ekhi Lopetegi dominating the upper ranges with deep, simplistic lines and his heavy Spanish accent. One of the standout early tracks, “Grow,” touches close to their earlier rushed dreaminess, Lopetegi singing, “Don’t you tell me we’re free to do whatever you want” over distorted, swirling backing vocals that seem to promise exactly that. Elsewhere, “Simple Graces” opens with one of their catchiest beats, something close to approximating ’70s disco and a vocal hook that sounds like a heavenly kazoo.

But much of the album simply mines too much of the same territory. The same swirl of electronic orchestration and chiming keyboards can sound a little deadening after a while, even if it’s exactly what the doctor ordered in small doses. Delorean have crafted a fun, breezy record and Subiza is not at fault through any of its elements; in fact, they’re the saving virtues. It’s simply combining them to maximum jubilation that they need to work at.

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